Mental Health Foundation 2012 Year in Review


2012 A challenging year

The many achievements

The Mental Health Foundation is a relatively young organization on

St. Maarten, its main objective is to provide for;

"A Quality Health Care product within the available budgets"

Acknowledgement of the staff of the Foundation must be given, because whatever the foundation achieved was due to the dedication and competence of its staff.

Quality care is the attempt of an organization to prioritize a Holistic approach.

Holistic means envisioning a person as a whole, with consideration for his or her needs, wishes, abilities and environment.

(A Holistic Medicine characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease. Oxford Dictionaries)


A Holistic approach supports the setting of realistic goals with the clients to achieve the maximum results for the clients.


For a health care worker this involves building relationships with

clients that have totally different views of themselves and their

abilities. Views, that often contradict our own norms and ethical

views. The ability to deal with clients therefore requires high

standards of professionalism and a total disregard of prejudice

towards a client. Regardless, many highly qualified professionals often underestimate this role in their attempts to aid clients in achieving their goals.

Another extremely difficult role of health care workers in their attempts to provide for quality care within today’s demands is to work within a set budget as well as performing production based.


A health care worker today must have the ability to:

1. Acquire the necessary knowledge of the individual patient/client to be able to plan the care prioritizing the needs and wishes of the individuals.

2. Be a team player.

3. Take on the responsibilities to uphold the objectives of the organization, achieving the goals for the clients.

4. Above all to provide continuity of care, by monitoring clients regardless of the circumstances

5. Provide for the treatment as prescribed by the psychiatrist of the foundation

6. At all times promote the care products of the foundation.

In support of the team effort the foundation has an organization structure that explains the responsibilities and lines of communication.

Informally staff at all times approach each other to discuss matters that are pending or come up.

Formally the communication is structured:


Monthly Board Meetings (In preparation of the Board Meetings Executive Board meetings).

2. Monthly Staff Meetings

3. Weekly Management Team meetings

4. Weekly Information and Prevention and IT

5. Quarterly incidents and complaints meetings

6. Evaluation committee

7. Job vacancy committee

External Meetings with Stakeholders

1. Minister of Health, social Welfare and Labor

2. The Ministry of VSA

3. Minister of Education and Sports

4. The Ministry of Education and Sports

5. Members of Parliament

6. Prison (Huis van Bewaring)

7. Social Welfare Department

8. Union

9. Funding Organizations

10. Education and training purposes

11. White Yellow Cross Foundation

12. St. Maarten Medical Center

13. Turning Point Foundation

14. SJIB (Stichting Justitiele Inrichtingen)

15. Voogdij raad

16. Capriles Clinic (in Curacao)

At the end of 2011 the foundation had grown from 18 staff members to the present 33 staff employed. MHF also has a security contract and call-up nurses that totals approximately 10 persons jobs and extra income.

The amount of patients seen increased to 600 in 2012.

Prioritized was research in order to establish the actual

needs for psychiatric care on St. Maarten.

The intention of the research is to be able to adequately

provide for patients needs and to acquire knowledge

with regards to what prevention measures need to be

taken in order to avoid high health care costs

in the future on St. Maarten.


· Furthermore the foundation provides students from high

schools job experience and training.

· SMMC no longer sends Nurses to Curacao for Job training

in Psychiatry.

· AUC students now also make use of the

Mental Health Foundation.

· MHF is also attempting to become an accredited facility for

doctors specializing in psychiatry.


After moving to a new location the MHF team set out to establish:

1. An adequate organization structure for the foundation

2. Enter into Care and cooperation agreements with stakeholders

3. Job Training for clients

4. Research the prevalent illnesses psychiatric illnesses on St. Maarten

5. To create a safe and secure environment for patients, clients and staff

6. Support the staffs request to Unionize.

7. Staff education is also a priority

Contacts were made and meetings held in order to commence with the goals set for 2012


In order to be able to receive Government Subsidy and AVBZ Budget accountability is required and at the same time preparations are made to apply for the Budget 2013:

1. Preparation for PWC accounting control 2011.

2. The first meeting with the Supervisory board and board of Directors took place.

3. The first meeting with Education Department of St. Maarten Medical Center for Job Training of Students.

4. Students from AUC were also facilitated to get acquainted with psychiatry

5. The first Lecture of the year was held by Professor Hoencamp from the Parnassia Group.

At the same time progress is made with regards to the goals set in January.


MHF Subsidy is approved with a considerable reduction. Regardless of the setback the foundation commenced with its activities. Pending the sub-contract with the Islands of Saba and St. Eustatius it was agreed to commence with services based on a memo, because patients were being admitted since January 2012. These extra revenues helped the foundation through a difficult time.

The Electronic Patient Dossier (EPD) introduced in 2011 and now fully effective also supported extra income for the foundation.

First Quarterly Incident and complaints committee meeting


1. Prison signed an agreement with MHF

2. Social Welfare and VSA contacted MHF in support of the SEI project

More Lectures were given for General Practitioners and Stakeholders


The Board of the foundation and the Minister enter into discussion to resolve ongoing matters, subsidy cuts and licensing problems.

Meetings commence with Turning Point for addiction regarding mandated care.

AVBZ meetings resulted in the acceptance of ambulant care and purchasing of that care was agreed on.


Preparations for cooperation agreement with Capriles Clinic for exchange of knowledge education and training made.

The Hurricane and Safety plan completed


Information and Prevention, the first discussions regarding the filming of prevention spots commenced. This project is sponsored by Ennia.

The third incident and complaints meeting was held


Due to the financial insecurities the accountants report, year reports and budget are being finalized at a very late stage.

Dr. Jatinder Kour psychiatrist enters into employ of the foundation. Preparations for this were ongoing since 2011.

Student Facility Management commenced at the foundation in order to set up preventative maintenance, stack control, schedules and other related matters.


Cooperation agreement signed with Capriles Clinic

Care agreement signed with White Yellow Cross for 10 hours per week psychiatric services


The highlight of September was the Family fun day.

Clients were given the opportunity to thank their relatives for the care they gave to the clients.

Instead the clients spontaneously thanked the MHF staff for the work done for them and the relationship established over the years.

Incident and complaints meeting held

The accountant report is finally approved.

October World Mental Health Month

Celebrated is one year in the new building, with stakeholders. Presentations were given by clients and staff.

Art Expo held at Taloula Mangoes of client’s art works and candles produced

MHF sadly lost qualified staff doing an excellent job, which in seeking more job security departed.

At the end of October an Addiction Conference was attended in Aruba


Intranet launched, MHF staff can now access internet through the website

Thanks giving celebrated with the Clients


Staffs retreat at Tintamare Island sponsored by SZV

Christmas celebrated with the clients and their families

Psychiatrist and Psychologist sworn in by the Governor


Mention must be given to the president and the treasurer of the foundation for their efforts in keeping the foundation successful in 2012. Adherence was given to the rules and regulations of the foundation, while diplomacy at time was necessary but difficult.

MHF management and team; regardless of the insecurities, made great strides in successfully treating psychiatric patients on St. Maarten. They proved to be dedicated and competent to do the job regardless.

The service to the community continued and targets were met while by far not all.

What is established is that the foundation has a solid basis and can overcome setbacks while it continues to provide for quality care to the patients and clients.